12.00 KO - Sky Sports
The third Glasgow Derby of the season is upon us, a Celtic win will all but seal our 8th title in a row, while a Rangers win will see them close the gap on us to 7 points. The last time these two sides met saw Rangers defeat Celtic 1-0 at Ibrox, it was the first win for the Gers agains't Celtic in 3 seasons, since then Celtic have changed manager and brought in a number of new additions such as Oli Burke & Timo Weah, these new signings have helped Celtic win all but 1 league game in 2019 while Rangers have stuttered only winning 5 of there last 9 league matches.
Celtic go into the match with Tom Rogic, Oli Ntcham and Dedrick Boyata all back in training, whether or not Neil Lennon decides to put any of them in the starting 11 come Sunday remains to be seen, but it is likely we will see three of those players at some stage with Ajer, Benkovic and Boyata giving Lennon a welcomed defensive headache. Meanwhile Mika Lustig, Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie are all doubts for the match but will be given until the last minute to prove their fitness, Tierney in particular a key player for Celtic and someone Neil Lennon will want available. If Tierney's condition does not improve over the next two days it will be interesting to see if Lennon goes with Emilio Izaguirre or Jonny Hayes. Long term absentees include Eboue Kouassi and Daniel Arzani who both remain sidelined by ACL injuries while Jeremy Toljan looks set to start at right back.
Rangers have Croatian left back Borna Barisic out after he injured his hamstring on international duty, his likely replacement will be Scotland sta... Scotland su... Scotland fan Andy Halliday, Alfie Morelos is also likely to start following a successful midweek open goal miss for Columbia. Rangers also received some good news on the staff front when Gary McAllister was cleared of assault after head butting a pavement last week.
Potential line ups
Both sides have a number of players they can call upon from the bench with Celtic likely to have the likes of Timo Weah, Tom Rogic, Kris Ajer and Mikey Johnstone to call upon, while Rangers have experienced Premier League duo Jermaine Defoe and Steven Davis available along with Glenn Kamara.
Celtic come into this fixture on the back of a dramatic last minute winner against Dundee courtesy of Odsonne Edouard, its the second time since Neil Lennon's return that the Hoops have won a game late on, while this shows great spirit from the champions and a never say die attitude, it also means that we are not breaking teams down well enough in the earlier stages of the game something we will need to do come Sunday.
Celtic's last 5 results
Motherwell (H) 4-1 W
Hearts (A) 1-2 W
Hibs (A) 0-2 W
Aberdeen (H) 0-0 D
Dundee (A) 0-1 W
Rangers meanwhile come into the match is much worse form having only won once in their last 5 games in all competitions, defeat to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup see's them once again staring down a trophy less season, a defeat at Parkhead on Sunday all but kills there season and even a win might not be enough.
Rangers last 5 results
Dundee (H) 4-0 W
Aberdeen (A) 1-1 D
Hibs (A) 1-1 D
Aberdeen (H) 0-2 L
Kilmarnock (H) 1-1 D
The last time these two teams met Celtic where completely outplayed both physically and technically which is something we will not accept again, with Neil Lennon at the helm Celtic have a true Celtic man on the touchline and someone with vast derby experience having both managed and played in games against Rangers in the past, he will have Celtic up and at it from the get go, Celtic can also call upon the vast derby experience of players such as Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and James Forrest to help any newcomers such as Oli Burke and Toljan.
Rangers will more than likely come and sit in deep to try and frustrate Celtic while hitting us on the break with Alfredo Morelos linking up with the Rangers midfield runners, Ryan Kent is someone who on his day can cause problems and with Toljan being very inconsistent it is something we need to be wary of, while this Rangers side are inferior in every position and mentally this is still a derby and they are still a threat.
Celtic go into this knowing that a win all but seals the title, we are vastly superior to them physically, technically and mentally and this should show tomorrow, players like Scott Brown, Scott Sinclair, Callum McGregor and James Forrest have vast experience in hun skelping and a winning mentally against any side is a big positive. Celtic will more than likely see the vast majority of possession but it is moving the ball quick enough to players such as Forrest, Sinclair and Edouard who can then get at the Rangers defence and create chances which is key. Celtic have been guilty in the past of moving the ball to slowly and without real purpose which is a poor watch but also gives teams time to regroup and get into a compact shape, under Neil Lennon Celtic have gone slightly more direct which in my opinion is a good thing and will be a good thing on Saturday considering Rangers will commit men forward on the counter so we will have space to get in behind. Like all derby's nothing is certain but even if both sides show up then Celtic would more than likely win comfortably so we should be full of confidence knowing this is a Rangers team struggling defensively and unless Morelos and Kent show up then offensively they are poor.
For me I see a fast start from both sides as always with Celtic settling down quicker and scoring within the first 30 minutes and a more comfortable performance from there on in.
Celtic 3-1 Sevco